Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa with a population of 17.88 million people. It is bordered by Mali, Niger, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin. A former French colony, it gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960. The name Burkina Faso, which means “Land of Incorruptible People,” was adopted in 1984. The capital is Ouagadougou which lies at the centre of the country.


1960 –  Declares independence from France as the Republic of Upper Volta is formed with Maurice Yameogo as its first President.

1966 – Yameogo’s government was viewed as corrupt and was deposed in a military coup led by Col Sangule Lamizana.

1970 – The Voltans ratified a new constitution that established a 4-year transition period toward complete civilian rule. Lamizana remained in power and in 1978 was re-elected by open elections.

1983 – Following a series of military coups and in-fighting Capt Thomas Sankara became leader of the nation and in 1984 changed the country’s name to Burkina Faso which translates to ‘land of the honest, upright people’.

1987 – Sankara was assassinated in a coup which brought Captain Blaise Compaoré to power.

2001 – ACT begins work in Burkina Faso in partnership with Child Hope (Les Enfants d’Abord).

2007 – ACT launches the first of its Widows’ projects.

2009 – Parliament passes a law requiring at least 30% of candidates for election to be women.

2014 – Compaore was deposed.

2015 – General election saw the emergence of Roch Marc Christian Kabore as President.

Quick Facts

GDP per capita: 670.71 USD (2017)

Population: 19.19 million (2017)

Largest cities: Ouagadougou (the capital), Bobo-Dioulasso, Koudougou

Language: French

Median age: 17.1 years (2019)

Literacy Rate: 37.7% ; Male – 44.4%, Female – 26.3% (2015)

Agriculture makes up 32% of the GDP and 80% of the population work in that sector.



Landlocked. Bordered by Mali and Niger to the North, and Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire to the South.

Places of Interest: Banfora Cascades, Grande Mosque Bobo-Dioulasso, Karfiguela Waterfalls, Kassena, Niansogoni, Sindou Peaks


ACT in Burkina Faso


Our operations in Burkina Faso started in the capital, Ouagadougou in 2001. With so much need identified, the work rapidly expanded to 11 districts, across the country. By 2017, 425 children had benefitted from full scholarship and /or from our welfare projects. The attainment rates of our supported children is among the highest across the 8 countries where work, in 2017 boasting a 90% completion rate for secondary school with about 20 university students and graduates.

We launched the Sustainable Whole Life Skills Training Programme in 2007 with initial grants from a UK charitable trust alongside funds raised from individuals and fundraising events. The project helped fund the development of training materials and manuals which are in English and French and have been translated to local languages in communities around the 8 African countries where we work.

ACT Facts:

Since 2000 a total of 114 orphan children have been educated across the country. More than 90 percent have completed secondary school of which 12 attended university and 4 have graduated. Nearly 300 women have benefited from the ACT Widow’s project and received training in business skills so they can generate sustainable income. A significant number of the widows have set up their own enterprises successfully. Read the story of Collette.

In 2011 ACT formed partnership with Samaritan Purse (Operation Christmas Child). Since then, ACT children have each year received a present at Christmas as part of the Operation Christmas Child.

Our Projects: